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Customs chief welcomes P637B tax goal for 2018

  • Written by Paul M. Gutierrez
  • Published in Nation
  • Read: 280

BUREAU of Customs (BoC) commissioner Isidro Lapeña is undeterred by the over 36 percent increase in
revenue goal for 2018 from its present tax goal for the year imposed by the Department of Finance
(DoF) to help fund the Duterte administration’s various projects.

Citing the “gains” from the many “reforms” he has rolled out, specifically the bureau’s
“historic” collection gains since he assumed the top customs post last August 30, Lapeña said, “we can
do it. We are not doing a miracle here, we’re just doing things right this time.”
     
For 2018, the DoF has tasked the BoC to collect P637.1 billion, which is also some P200
billion more from its assigned target of P467 billion for the current year.
     
In October, Lapeña’s second month in office, the BoC collected more than P42 billion compared
to the “average collection” of some P38 billion during the term of Comm. Nicanor Faeldon. Last month,
the bureau topped this “historic” record, as described by the customs chief, by collecting over P46
billion.
     
In his first 100 days in office, Lapeña relieved 180 customs personnel and officials from
their posts for violating his “no tara, no benchmarking” policies. The ‘casualties’ include 30
frontline section chiefs and 10 district collector of Customs.
     
Lapeña also pushed on with his ‘one assessment, no sectioning’ policy where all the 15
commodity sections at the Assessment (Formal Entry) Division at the two major ports, the Port of
Manila (POM) and the Manila International Container Port (MICP) have been abolished despite protest
from the employees’ union and a group of Customs brokers.
     
“There will be more reshuffling if the BoC personnel will not cooperate in the reforms we are
making. I told everyone there, I will work within the bureau. I will be one with them.
    
“But we must be all moving in one direction, and that is removing corruption at all levels,”
Lapeña reasoned out.
     
To placate the union, Lapeña said the promotion of 567 employees is now being “processed.” He
added employees shall also be “prioritized” in filling up the available 3,326 positions in the agency
that remains vacant up to now.
     
Lapeña also promised to further speed up customs processes, noting delays in the release of
goods is an opportunity for corrupt employees and officials to demand “tara” from the transacting
public.